Select Jiu-Jitsu Academy of Martial Arts welcomes Coach Luis Suarez as headstriking/boxing coach.
With over 50 years of martial arts experience, Suarez is a well-known coach in Waco. He has taught boxing, kick boxing, taekwondo and coached mma fighters.
At age 71, Suarez is a family man with three daughters, one son, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He’s originally from San Benito, Texas but has lived in Waco for nearly 50 years.
Suarez first learned martial arts in the military. He served his country in the Army from 1965-1968, where he traveled to Europe and Southeast Asia.
He originally learned and studied taekwondo and eventually earned his black belt under the American Karate Black Belt Association (AKBBA).
Suarez owned his own “Tex-kwon-do” school in Waco, called El Sol, for eight years. El Sol was a taekwondo school that allowed full contact. His students learned knife and stick fighting, as well as Aikido.
In 2005, Suarez was fortunate enough to travel to Japan with boxer Michael Lerma for a K-1 Max main event. Lerma was the main event and fought Yoshihiro Akiyama. Again, in 2006 Lerma and Suarez traveled to Japan when Lerma had an mma fight.
“There were boxers from Greece, Holland, Thailand and Mongolia,” among other countries, stated Suarez. “It was neat. I want to go back to training camps in Thailand or Costa Rica.”
Suarez worked at General Tire and Rubber Company for 16 years, but he always made time for martial arts.
“It is something you can practice by yourself,” he said. “It’s always been a part of my life. Martial arts keeps me going.”
Suarez likes to help his fellow vets.
“I like to make them move around and they will feel better,” he said.
He likes to see people making improvements.
“Martial arts gives people manners and discipline and you are able to see a live transformation in people,” he explained. “That drive you get from martial arts is good.”
And one of Suarez’s favorite things is seeing his students progress.
“God trained me to be a motivator and that’s my ministry,” Suarez said.
Select Jiu-Jitsu Academy is proud to have Suarez on the mats as a coach. He wants to continue to train and coach others for as long as possible.
“The rest of my life is the best of my life,” he said.
And keep a lookout for two of Suarez’s fighters (and soon to be champions), Vernon (Big E) Lewis and Mando (La Lumbre) Villarreal.